Jan Neuspiel


Jan's guiding and teaching career has spanned more than 30 years and about as many mountain ranges. Much of this time he has spent working and living in the Himalaya guiding climbing and trekking in Nepal (he speaks fluent Nepali) and running a helicopter skiing operation in India. Jan has climbed and skied in BC's Coast Range, the Rockies, the interior ranges, all over the mountainous west of the USA, Europe, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, the Himalayas and of course, in Vancouver Island's mountains. For a number of years now, Jan has called the Island home. Jan says the unique beauty of these mountains has captured his heart and he looks forward to sharing these most special places with you. Jan brings his vast experience and dedicated professionalism plus a sense of fun to his work as a guide and managing director of Island Alpine Guides as well as manager of operations for Bella Coola Helisports' Waddington zone operations. Jan was a founder and long time forecaster and volunteer with the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre.

Ken Wylie


Ken has 30 years of experience as a mountain guide and experiential educator for organizations including Yamnuska Mountain School, Outward Bound Canada, and Outward Bound USA. He has also instructed at the University of Calgary and as a faculty member at Mount Royal College (University) and Thompson Rivers University in Outdoor Education and Adventure Tourism. Ken has a particular interest in how adventure activities can connect us to ourselves, others and nature. He shares this passion by offering "adventure life coaching" through his Vancouver Island based company Mountains For Growth. When not working outdoors Ken also inspires as a writer and speaker who shares lessons from his life which connect deeply with his readers and audiences. He recently published his first book "Buried".

Graeme White


Graeme’s love of the mountains and wilderness began at an early age camping with his family and exploring Western Canada and the Yukon. His own explorations continued across Western North America, South America, the UK and Africa. For sixteen years, Graeme worked with Outward Bound Canada, starting as an instructor and later as manager of their Western Canada operations. He also works with a Victoria area private school Outdoor Ed program, and fills the time between teaching and guiding with work as a carpenter. Graeme enjoys the combination of working and teaching in the mountains, coaching individuals towards the self reliance to do their own trips, or just making sure they have a great day out.

Ryan Shelly


Ryan is an experienced sledder, a professional avalanche forecaster at the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, and a school teacher. He has been working as an avalanche skills instructor for snowmobilers and skiers since 2010. For many years now Ryan has worked in conjunction with Avalanche Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Association, and other partners to bring much needed avalanche education to sledders in northern Alberta and northern British Columbia. He now makes his home in Cumberland.

Joe Schwartz


Joe is a Kootenay-raised ACMG Ski Guide who is now based out of Cumberland, BC. He has worked for many heli, snowcat and ski touring lodges across BC and the Rockies over the last 15 years. His favourite parts of guiding are the opportunity to facilitate unique experiences for his guests, and exploring new terrain (which he is doing right now in our lovely Island Alps). In a previous life Joe was a professional mountain bike athlete travelling the world with his bike, riding in far flung locales for photo shoots and competitions including the Red Bull Rampage, which he competed in three times. Joe has a business degree with a marketing communications focus and when not guiding he works in digital marketing, managing teams designing and developing websites.

Jen Olson


Jen is a professional climber, a former Canadian National Ice Climbing Team member and an ACMG/IFMGA mountain guide. Her background is varied; a teaching degree, cooking in a backcountry ski lodge, and being an air traffic controller are just some of the many things she has done in her career. Jen has participated in a number of climbing expeditions and climbing festivals. In 2007 she went to Pakistan and put up an all-women's first ascent in the Nangmah Valley. She's also participated in five first ascents of waterfall ice climbs in the remote Icefall Brooke region of the Canadian Rockies. Jen does a variety of work with Island Alpine Guides but we're especially excited to have her on board to lead our women's programs.

Bill Phipps


Bill loves to ski and climb. His passion for the mountains has been guiding his life from an early age. He is a professional avalanche forecaster at Mount Washington and the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, has a teaching degree and is an instructor with the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program at Strathcona Park Lodge. His love of the mountains and snow, a solid understanding of the avalanche game, and a well developed set of skills gained from decades of teaching make him an exceptional Avalanche Skills Training instructor. Bill is also a member of the Canadian Ski Guides Association and spends part of his winters with Cat and Heli Skiing operations.

Meaghan Buisson

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Meaghan loves guiding. She is passionate about connecting with others in wild spaces. A former professional and Canadian Inline Speed Skating National Team athlete, her accomplishments include 11 international podiums and a world record. She guides for Outward Bound in both the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast. With a background in biomedical sciences and 15+ years as an educator, her field certifications include ACMG assistant hiking guide, SKGABC-AOG paddling guide, Interpretive Guide, Leave-No-Trace Master Educator, and registered yoga teacher. In the off-season, she is an internationally recognized speaker and writer in the realm of science, psychiatry, and social justice.

Janna Rist

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Janna works behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the IAG office. Originally from the U.K. she now calls Cumberland home. In a previous life Janna worked in exotic locales as a conservation biologist, on the west coast as a kayaking guide and most recently as a paramedic. She is a dog training nerd, and so when not steering the IAG ship she can be found training her working lab pup Rudy; mountain biking or volunteering for Search and Rescue.

Merlin Neuspiel

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Merlin (AKA Puppy Wuppy) is the real boss of IAG. His roles include greeting guests, eating treats and getting tummy rubs. When not overseeing the IAG office Merlin can be found taking his favourite human, Jan, on long mountain bike rides.